“Home of the Dragon” dives deep into “Sport of Thrones” lore and the centuries-ago rule of Home Targaryen. That Targaryen-centric storytelling additionally signifies that the prequel collection is, inevitably, spending important time on one of many extra uncomfortable facets of that royal home’s tradition: incestuous marriages.
The Targaryens’ Historical past of Incestuous Marriage, Defined
In response to George R.R. Martin’s books, Home Targaryen’s apply of incest dates again to their Valyrian origins, the place the apply was extra frequent and accepted. The thought is that they will hold their bloodlines “pure,” preserving each their social standing and their dragon-riding talents, by avoiding the dilution of their energy with outsiders. Their “most well-liked” marriages wed siblings to 1 one other, however in some instances, the marriages may contain uncles and nieces or aunts and nephews. Targaryen cousins additionally could wed occasionally, though that is no totally different from the remainder of Westeros, the place even first cousins could sometimes marry with out elevating severe eyebrows. Some Targaryens, like Princess Rhaenys, do marry members of different noble homes, both for political, spiritual, or romantic causes.
Why Did the Targaryens Cease Marrying Their Kin?
After the home conquers and guidelines over Westeros, the apply of incest turns into extra sporadic and extra controversial, particularly because it places them in direct battle with the dominant faith of the dominion. Their incestuous marriages are also rumored to be the reason for the unusually excessive incidence of “insanity” amongst Targaryens.
In “Sport of Thrones,” for example, the “Mad King” Aerys II is the product of incest (his mother and father, Jaehaerys and Shaera, have been siblings who secretly married in opposition to the desires of their household, they usually each descended from quite a few incestuous relationship as nicely — together with their nice, nice, nice, nice, nice grandparents, Rhaenyra and Daemon Targeryan). He then continues the apply, marrying his personal sister Rhaella and having a number of kids together with her, together with Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys.
The Targaryens’ Incestuous Marriages Parallel Actual-Life Royal Historical past
In actual life, historic royal homes usually intermarried with each other, below the concept solely somebody from an equally “excessive” social rank may very well be an appropriate partner for royalty. Whereas the type of incest that “Home of the Dragon” and Home Targaryen on the whole portrays (sibling marriages, marriages between uncles and nieces, and so forth) was positively not frequent in actual life, cousin marriage was fairly frequent.
Often, these have been barely extra distant cousins (second or third), however generally even first cousins married amongst royalty. Essentially the most well-known occasion within the European world was Queen Victoria, who married her first cousin, Prince Albert; her mom and his father have been brother and sister. Due to Victoria and Albert and their many descendants’ marriages that adopted, a lot of modern-day European royalty is said distantly in a technique or one other.
Such practices have been frequent for hundreds of years, and with out modern-day advances in genetics to warn for potential well being considerations, it continued for hundreds of years. Extra distant cousin marriages continued up via the twentieth century. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, in actual fact, have been third cousins, each descended from Queen Victoria.
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